@Oprah, Welcome To Twitter. Now Please Don’t Break It: Why @Oprah & @Aplusk Don’t Belong on Twitter

Posted: April 17, 2009 in Ashton Kutcher, Oprah, Twitter
Tags: , , ,

A great many people have attempted to define twitter. The site, so addictive and understood by its users – yet so difficult to explain to those who haven’t graced the twitterverse with their presence. Microblogging? That just begs the question…”well, what’s microblogging?”

However you want to define Twitter, one thing is for certain, it is a conversation…an ongoing and open dialogue between vast multitudes of people from every walk of life. A Plethora of simultaneous conversations intersecting and overlapping – leading to the valuable exchange of information. But this entire system is predicated on 2 (or 3 or 4 or more…)-way discourse.

Perhaps the most prominent criticism of brands and marketers who employ twitter for customer/consumer relations is the one-way broadcasting of information. Many brands – Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Dell…to name a few, and most recently Domino’s – have responded by evolving their twitter presence into actual human-human conversationalists. And props to them.

Arguably, the only excusable one-way broadcasting on twitter, IMHO is when it’s done by news outlets. That’s what people expect, and want, from them. Information. That’s not to say it isn’t awesome when journalists and reporters become active participants in the discussion, and many are, but people have come to accept and rely on actual outlets for simple headlines and breaking news. Wonderful.

Which brings us to celebrities. Shaq, as well as The Jet’s Kerry Rhodes, John Mayer, even Kim Kardashian, plus a few other celebrities, are known to utilize twitter as a means to converse with their fans. But Oprah & Ashton Kutcher – the recent poster children, spokespeople, sell-out twitter celebrities – the focal point of what must be half of all tweets in the last 24 hours – haven’t conversed. And my question is – “Will they?”

With a million+ followers – how do you choose who to reply to, if anyone at all? And if you don’t converse…why are you on twitter? Are TV, Movies, Celebrity, and Sheer Wealth just not enough? If you ask me, if feels cheap. At this moment – Oprah is following a totally of 9 people…and followed by over 94,000, while the man who brought us Dude Where’s My Car, Punkd and Beauty & The Geek has over 1 million and only follows 73. Crazy ratios right? And those lucky individuals – other celebrities, like Jimmy Fallon, Tony Hawk, and Larry King.

I’m sorry Oprah…you don’t need twitter. You probably won’t use it properly…but by all means, please, prove me wrong. Converse, Engage, Listen, Interact, Respond…You Too Ashton…btw, I liked you better on that 70’s show when you had a mustache…at least the you could poke fun at yourself.

  1. The Q says:

    I totally agree. In fact I blogged about this myself this morning. The entire point of Twitter is reciprocation.

    I challenge any “celebrity” Twitterer to be able to make the same claims I do in my post:

    Ten Reasons You Should Follow ME on Twitter

  2. I agree as well. I tweeted this very thing, only it was in 140 characters :-P.

    Twitter for me IS an on-going open dialog for engagement. Seriously, can anyone with 1 million followers REALL, SINCERELY, engage with even 1/4 of their followers? I think NOT. I would like to see them try, but the ratios you’ve pointed out re: followers to those they are following is VERY POOR and down right a SLAP in the face for those that really make the effort to use Twitter effectively.

    Celebs do not need to be on Twitter. If they have anything to say, they can say it in their magazines, interviews, shows, their own websites etc …

    If they can engage like everyone else does, they fine, they can stay. But if you cannot reciprocate in the Twitter way, they why are you on Twitter?

    Thanks for writing this.


  3. Rheumatologe says:

    Maybe you’d like to add:
    Natalie-Portman – if it isn’t a troll – 4600+ followers and 2 (TWO / 两) updates.

    Well done,
    Lothar M Kirsch

  4. Actually, I wrote my social media fantasy (before this reality started coming out) and gave my strategy for how Oprah could leverage social media.
    Check it out


  5. Oprah on Twitter would only have an added value if she started RT-ing people. I mean, every entrepreneur would kill to have his/her product be endorsed (so would I).
    I heard Dennis Leary nicknaming her Poprah on Jimmy Fallon, very funny.
    Will follow her anyway for a day or two, you never know.

  6. cha0tic says:

    I think you’re all probably being a bit grumpy because your cool underground club has gone mainstream, like when an Indieband makes it big 🙂

    You’re also assuming that everyone uses Twitter like you use Twitter. I have some people I follow just for The Announcements & I’m quite happy to have no interaction with them. As has been mentioned, Twitter as a News source.

    Maybe it isn’t possible for someone with hundreds of thousands of followers to interact with them. Their usage of Twitter will therefore be different from your usage. It will be more of an announcement service.

    What the Tweets from those with Mega-Followers may do is act like pebbles thrown into the ponds of the various networks that follow them. Ripples spreading outwards. A tweet from Oprah will get a small social (Twitter) group discussing amongst themselves. They will start conversations taht will spread, just like their shows will.

    Also remember. You don’t have to follow them 🙂

  7. […] If you don’t converse…why are you on twitter?…Oprah is following a [total] of 9 people…while the man who brought us Dude Where’s My Car…only follows 73. Crazy ratios right? I’m sorry Oprah…you don’t need twitter. You probably won’t use it properly…but by all means, please, prove me wrong. via aerocles.blog.com […]

  8. yeah and @CNNBRK is following a whole 6 people and I don’t hear anyone complaining about that. I’m sure @aplusk’s reply stream is heavier than most of your follow streams. If you watch his updates he replies to a lot of people that he doesn’t follow which means he might not have time for everything everyone has to say, but he is listening to what people have to say to him. Oprah in my opinion is a source of information like CNN so why ask her to use this as a conversational tool, why can’t she simply use it as a media tool? Twitter is for everyone, accept for robots. Unless they are cool robots that actually think for themselves and have something good to say besides “danger will robinson”.

  9. thechromatic says:

    Absolute rubbish.

    I’m surprised at how many people want to dictate who should tweet and how they should tweet and indeed what twitter should mean.

    Twitter doesn’t have to be a one to one discussion forum, it can be an announcement forum, it is what I, you, me, we, make it.

    And you really should do your research properly, there are more than ‘a few’ celebs on twitter.
    Twitter has taken root on a larger scale amongst rappers and hiphoppers. maybe outside your demographic, but that’s reality.

  10. ibidibid says:

    I certainly can appreciate your feelings about ‘vanity’ Twits but disagree with your view that the Oprahs and the Ashtons ‘don’t belong’ here. The fact is, everybody “belongs’ on Twitter- it’s an open SM site, and as such, a platform, soap box, confessional, DIY channel, etc., for anyone who chooses to sign on.

    How are Oprah and Ashton any different from one-way ranters who sell their expertise, spew their political views, or
    tell me how I can make BIG $$$$s in a few short months? How about the thousands, maybe millions, on Twitter who never engage or contribute but choose to just “listen” in?

    Unless the rules of engagement change, or the limits imposed by technology are reached, it seems to me The Twitterverse is, and should be, big enough to hold everyone.

  11. now in my rss reader)))
    signature: http://xabul.ru/

  12. […] diamond studded coattails, joined the ranks of Twitter Personas, despite some vehement protesting that they do (and still do) nothing to add value to the community. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t celebrities who DO engage with their followers, ala The […]

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